Plastic bag free Fiji

ON Tuesday morning, April 4, 2017, while travelling through the SawaniColo-i-Suva corridor, I noticed an industrial bin on the roadside close to the Princess Rd-Crest Chicken junction.

I hope that this is being provided so fellow citizens can dispose their rubbish in.

May I thank those responsible in providing this bin.

I have said before that when it comes to tackling our litter problem in Fiji, most times, all we need is the provision of receptacles where the rubbish can be disposed in.

I hope that some environmentally friendly business house, the Ministry of Environment and other agencies will see it fit to provide more industrial bins along our roadsides.

I add here that littering does not only occur on roadsides by the uninformed and the ignorant.

Where I work, for some time now, some fellow colleagues had been asking the powers that be for bins to be provided in classrooms, lecture theatres and the surrounding areas.

Sad to say, even at this tertiary institution, littering is also a problem.

It’s not uncommon to see papers and wrappers strewn all over the place.

Even yesterday, I had to pick up all the rubbish scattered in our school yard.

The rubbish, including beer bottles, plastic cups, empty cartons and tissue papers were left behind by revellers at a recent book launch.

The litter filled three rubbish bin bags. At least yesterday morning, we were not greeted by that eyesore.

I submit that a contributing factor to this is the absence of rubbish bins.

I digress and add here an option proffered by two friends from abroad.

They say that at the UN base in Darfur, Sudan, the UN has prohibited the use of plastic bags in shops inside the UN camp.

They use biodegradable bags instead. These are also sold at the counters.

I deduce from this that shoppers would be encouraged to bring their own biodegradable bags when they go shopping.

I submit that our policy and lawmakers can also prohibit the use of plastic bags as part of our laws here.

Let’s stop the production and import of all plastic bags. As I said in this paper before, let’s make Fiji plastic bags free by 2027. The earlier, the better.

I say yet again, we have no other choice.

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